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Hiero Day 2015

Annual festival in Oakland

Hieroglyphics is a hip hop group out of Northern California. Each year they celebrate new hip hop talent with their own festival in Oakland on Labor Day. I got the chance to cover their show this year and even though there were over a dozen quality performers to see on each stage, I was there for one.

It took me over three hours to get to Hiero Day, public transit wasn’t doing so well. When I got there the temp had to be hitting on 90 and everyone was looking for shade to sit in. But I had to find Anderson .Paak. The main reason I was there.

I caught him right before his performance on the Third Eye stage. I ran up to him like a giddy fool and blathered about my love for his music. When I realized how foolish I was sounding, his manager assured me that they all felt the same way too. We talked a bit longer about other LA emcees, I actually told him the only other one that could compete with him was Doja Cat. He got a kick out of it.

His performance on stage had just as much character as his music, along with the short time I talked to him. The day was a highlight I’ll be holding on to at least until next Labor Day.

For festivals I usually compile the best performers into a playlist, but instead I decided to bring it back to when I first fell in love with Hiero. I put together a list of about twenty other emcees that I was just as much obsessed with in college as I am with .Paak now. They’re the sole reason why Silence Nogood started up.

Silence Nogood’s Hip Hop Start tracklist

Restoring Poetry in Music – Sleep Walkers
Latyrx – Lady Don’t Tek No
Mel Gibson and the Pants – Paper Shaper Shifter

People Under the Stairs – The Breakdown
Nujabes – Blessing It (Remix) (featuring Substantial & Pase Rock)
Mayday – Macro/Micro

Panacea – Flashback to Stardom
Abyssinian Creole – The Beautiful
Jurassic 5 – Hey

Hieroglyphics – You Never Know
Deltron 3030 – Mastermind
Blackalicious – Make You Feel That Way

Lifesavas – No Surprise
The Pharcyde – She Said
Zion I – Venus

Mac Dre – All Damn Day
Andre Nickatina – Dice of Life
Swollen Members – Therapy

Blue Scholars – Seijun Suzuki
Doomtree – Flex
Atmosphere – Fuck You Lucy

Photo by Adam Stanzak